Midwife of the Blue Ridge by Christine Blevins
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I started this book the night of my Memorial Day train snafu and just finished it the other day. Come to think of it, I don't know why it took me so long, especially because it was a really good read.
The story follows the life of a young Scottish woman named Maggie Duncan. As a child, her entire village was massacred, leaving Maggie an orphan. A local midwife adopts Maggie, but because of her history as the lone survivor, she is regarded with superstition by the rest of the townsfolk. She is considered un-marriageable, even though she has grown into a talented, beautiful woman. Unhappy with her life in Scotland, Maggie agrees to travel to America as an indentured servant after the death of her adopted mother.
The rest of the book chronicles the adventures and hardships Maggie encounters in the New World. The plot moves along swiftly enough, but there is also a lot of attention paid to the details of Colonial life and to the relationships between all the characters. At times the book portrays unspeakable cruelties, but these things were a reality during this turbulent time in history.
I found this book so enjoyable to read because it covered the full gamut of emotions. You have both romance and danger, tenderness and heartache. Maggie's Scots accent and tell-it-like-it-is personality reminded me a bit of some of the characters in Outlander by Diana Gabaldon (an all-time favorite of mine). This book was a nice escape and the only downside is that there is no sequel!